Delegate Social Media Tasks? Ouch!

File this one under “Do as the Pharisees say, not as they do”.

There is a certain marketing guru – yes, he is well-enough known and well-enough respected that the word “guru” applies – who recently sent me an email newsletter. Out of respect, all names have been changed in this blog post.

Before I tell you what was in that email, I should make very clear that this is someone whose opinions I respect. He always gives good advice and his newsletters are always worth reading. For the purpose of this post, it is worth noting that I frequently come across his articles posted at “one of my favourite social bookmarking websites” (OOMFSBW), and of course I vote them up.

The newsletter I mentioned earlier landed in my inbox. The gist of it was that one must be careful about outsourcing or delegating social media tasks – that one must be particular about choosing whom to ask to do such things for you.

The newsletter offered the suggestion that asking your little sister to handle your social media would be a great idea if she had taken courses in marketing communication. But it would be a bad idea if she was a high school student who likes to share cool music and daily tidbits on FaceBook.

It just so happened at the very moment that the newsletter arrived I had a story submitted to OOMFSBW mentioned above, and I was in need of a few votes. So I thought I would fire back a quick response asking him for a vote. In the context of his email newsletter, it seemed highly appropriate.

And in the context of his email newsletter, the response I got back could not have been more surprising – nor more ironic.

“This is Guru’s Director of Marketing, Jack. Guru is travelling at the moment, so I wanted to respond to your request. I didn’t understand what you were asking. I submitted the article to OOMFSBW and I friended Amabaie. If you could clarify what you are asking, that would help me to be able to help you.”

At first, I sat there stunned. Could a newsletter about carefully choosing someone who knows social media be followed up with a live example so poignantly demonstrating why it is crucial to do so?

So I explained.

“OOMFSBW is not just about submitting. You need votes. I vote for most of Guru’s stuff (pretty much any that I see). I would love Guru’s votes for the two I subbed today… (and I included my submissions URL again)”

Two days later, I received a note back.

“I understand now. I just voted for 7 articles for Amabaie.”

So I explained again.

“So also to understand, there is a limited window when the votes actually count. In the case of OOMFSBW , it is xx hours. In other cases, it is typically xx hours or xx days or a month. Just so you are aware in the future.”

As you can probably guess by now, this was total news to him. I think our friendly neighborhood marketing guru very amply demonstrated how crucial it is to delegate social media tasks to someone who knows social media.


Interestingly, I was reading the very next day on WeBlogBetter about whether one should delegate social media tasks to an intern. So, just for fun and because it is so on-topic with this post, let me share the comment I left at the end of the post.

“Hello. I would like to introduce everybody to our new company spokesperson, Rob-the-intern, and he will be managing our company’s entire reputation. Our credibility. Our image. The very factors upon which all our jobs depend. Please help me welcome Rob-the-Intern. I said, “Please help me welcome Rob-the-Intern.” Um…somebody? Anybody? “

Links from statistics websites

I saw a gig over on Fiverr that caught my eye.  For those of you who don’t know about Fiverr, it is where anyone can offer to do anything (almost) for five dollars.  It’s a bit like The Dollar Store of online services.  You can get some amazing deals on Fiverr – stuff you would expect to pay $25 for.  Or $50.  Or even $100.  You also get some blatant scams.

Some great deals.  Some rip-offs.  But either way, five dollars isn’t much.  Like I said, it’s like The Dollar Store.

The gig that caught my eye was:

I will submit your main domain URL to well over 5000 statistic sites. How This Works. I will submit your URL to various statistic sites. These give a value of your site/blog, and also provide a free link back to your site. My software sends your URL to over 5000 sites which gives you that many one way backlinks and Rapidly gets your site indexed by Google! I will send you a text doc to prove works done too. Order now and get indexed.

Anything that generates hundreds or thousands of links automatically can’t be particularly useful for a professional SEO campaign.  But it did occur to me that a few of these sites might be useful, and the links would most likely be either the domain (some with www, some with http, some with both, some with neither?) or the title tag, so not the usual keyword style links you see in blog comment spam and forum profile spam.  And not from the type of sites my clients would usually get links from, so perhaps it would add a nice little variety to a site’s link profile.

With low expectations and high curiosity, I laid down my five bucks.

OK, first off I must say that I did not check through the full list of 7861 entries (representing 36782 sites?  I think there was a typo), but with domain duplications taken into consideration,  it is still likely that the promised 5000+ were delivered).

The first thing I noticed were how many of the statistic sites were obviously scraping results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and most of all Baidu (If you think China wants to buy up all Western real estate, what does this say about China’s hunger for Internet property?).  To be expected, I suppose, but irrelevant to this review.

I checked through 3 dozen entries, being careful not to duplicate any sites.  I guess my first disappointment were how many came up dead (sites were for sale, 404 error pages, server would not connect, etc.) – nearly half.  But I suspect that for five bucks a gig, nobody will bother to check 5000 sites for deadwood (although, maybe the software should be set up to remove dead sites).

My second disappointment were how many of them did not link to the domain they were reviewing.  They tended mostly to link internally to other pages about the domain in an internal web of sorts.

Did the gig live up to the promise of “over 5000 sites which gives you that many one way backlinks”.  Not a chance.  One of the pages gave a NoFollow link.  Another gave a link from a secondary page (which might have been one of the 7861 entries that I did not check).  Although the sample size is too small for an accurate extrapolation 36 site, or less than one percent of the total – it implies that the site did get over 280 new backlinks, from new pages on established sites.  Even if I am off by 50%, that is still 140 links for $5, with at least a couple of the links probably reasonably good.

Five bucks for 140+ links that took me just a few minutes to order (and a couple hours to blog about, but that’s another story).  I would say that it is worth it.

But there was another residual benefit, too.  A few of the statistic sites (2, 3, 4? – I didn’t keep track)  linked to various authority profiles that link back to your domain.  For instance, a profile on Surcentro.net will not link to your website, but it will link to your profile at:

  • Alexa
  • WayBackMachine
  • Robtex

And each of these links back to your site.  So we can assume that at least another 140 links have been built to your domain’s profiles on authority statistics sites that already link to your site, and that is also a worthwhile.

Would I use this gig again? Yes. I wish more Fiverr gig sellers would cut the hyperbole and be more accurate about what they are offering.  But inaccuracy aside, I would call this gig a worthwhile addition to a comprehensive link-building campaign.